Bill Bryson's first travel book, The Lost Continent, was unanimously acclaimed as one of the funniest books in years. In Neither here Nor there he brings his unique brand of humour to bear on Europe as he shoulders his backpack, keeps a tight hold on his wallet, and journeys from Hamemrfest, the northernmost town on the continent, to istanbul on ...
Bill Bryson's first travel book, The Lost Continent, was unanimously acclaimed as one of the funniest books in years. In Neither here Nor there he brings his unique brand of humour to bear on Europe as he shoulders his backpack, keeps a tight hold on his wallet, and journeys from Hamemrfest, the northernmost town on the continent, to istanbul on the cusp of Asia. Fluent in, oh, at least one language, he retraces his travels as a student twenty years before. Whether braving the homicidal motorists of Paris, being robbed by gypsies in Florence, attempting not to order tripe and eyeballs in a German restaurant, window-shopping in the sex shops of the Reeperbahn or disputing his hotel bill in Copenhagen, Bryson takes in the sights, dissects the culture and illuminates each place and person with his hilariously caustic observations. He even goes to Liechtenstein.
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This is the second Bill Bryson book that I read. The first about his travels in Britain and this a tale of him retracing a European vacation he took as a youth. Not much of interest here. All most every hotel Bryson chooses to stay in are dumps or modern dumps. He has no luck in picking restaurants either. He seems to whinge about most places and only really seems to enjoy Italy and there he was robbed by a street urchin who picked his pocket of all his traveller's checks. Being unable to speak with anyone as apparently he is a monoglot, he becomes bored with his own company and by the time he gets to Turkey he has had enough and the book abruptly ends.
Jul 15, 2008
A Great Read
I have read this book many times. Each time I read it, I laugh longer and harder. Anyone who has lived in Europe or traveled there will be totally amused by Bill Bryson's account. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a book that can be put down and picked up again without losing any momentum. My teenage daughters also loved this book.
Apr 2, 2007
Bill Bryson writes as though he is telling you about his adventures in Europe while sitting at your kitchen table. His impressions of visiting the European countries are both informative and funny. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and have recommended it to many friends.
Publishers Weekly, 1992-01-01 After 20 years as a London-based reporter, American journalist Bryson ( The Mother Tongue ) set out to retrace a youthful European backpacking trip, from arctic Norway's northern lights to romantic Capri and the ``collective delirium'' of Istanbul. Descriptions of historic and artistic sights in the Continent's capitals are cursory; Bryson prefers lesser-known locales, whose peculiar flavor he skillfully conveys in anecdotes that don't scant the seamy side and often portray eccentric characters encountered during untoward adventures of the road. He enlivens the narrative with keen, sometimes acerbic observations of national quirks like the timed light switches in French hallways, but tends to strive too hard for comic effects, some in dubious taste. He also joins other travelers in deploring the growing hordes of peddlers who overrun major tourist meccas. (Feb.)
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